Brett Brown has Proven he’s the Right Leader for the Sixers
Tuesday night was fun for literally everyone. Whether it be the fan watching at home, the die-hard Hinkie-ite watching the game from the Wells Fargo Center live, or the Sixers team post-game. The Sixers win over the Miami Heat to clinch a first-round series might be one of the most fun things to happen to the Philadelphia 76ers in a long, long time.
Starting this out on the most positive note ever, Brett Brown is legitimately the man. I know how many people over the years, and really even months, have completely written Brown off as being a viable head coaching option for the Sixers moving forward.
However, it's very clear that no matter what Brown's record over the previous four seasons is, he still always had the right focus in mind regarding this team's path to greatness.
When you look at the Sixers as a whole team, you're constantly reminded of the players that got the team to where they're at today. Of course, when looking back, you are also reminded how much Sam Hinkie meant to this organization in terms of acquiring assets and setting up the organization for success for the long-term.
But in terms of longevity of players throughout the course of the process, Robert Covington and T.J. McConnell come to mind first, as Brandon Apter wrote earlier Wednesday.
Brett Brown has outlasted everyone. He's outlasted all of his former players, his former management, and has been a part of The Process longer than everyone on the current Sixers roster. If there's a guy that can feel the ebbs-and-flows of losing more, it's Coach Brown.
ESPN's Kevin Pelton put out an interesting tweet about Brett Brown's career with the Sixers a couple days ago, showing just how much faith the Sixers had in Brown as a real head coach from the beginning of his tenure.
Mike Budenholzer was let go on Wednesday
Just to put Kevin Pelton's tweet into perspective, here is a comprehensive list of all of those coaches, including Brett Brown, that were hired in 2013, sorted by their winning percentage. Some coaches lasted longer than others, especially some being fired that season or after the year for poor performance.
|1.||Doc Rivers||Clippers||Still Hired||259-151||.632|
|3.||Brad Stevens||Celtics||Still Hired||221-189||.539|
|12.||Brett Brown||76ers||Still Hired||127-283||.310|
While the Win-Loss records of some of these coaches may be skewed based on the amount of seasons they coached, the fact is still very much there, majority of the coaches hired before the 2013 season didn't have success and were fired, some after a little while and some before they were even given a chance to prove themselves.
Brett Brown is the brightest example of one of these coaches. He was brought into the Sixers organization with a very concise set of expectations, knowing that his reputation as an NBA coach may be tarnished as an end result. Even when the management of the team changed, the expectation of winning with this basketball team still existed for Brown.
Losing was very much temporary, even though it was going to be a painful journey.
Looking at what has become of this Sixers team over the years, it's not hard to believe that Brown hasn't missed a step on the road to becoming a relevant team in the NBA. He's been active in game-planning for the best chance at success on the court, consistent with working with management to get the right personnel to have a balance of talent in both the starting lineup and the bench, and has been an absolute mentor to the young players, proven by the relationship he has with Joel Embiid and the other teammates following the Sixers' series win over the Heat on Tuesday night.
Back in December, the Sixers were consistently revolving around a .500 record and the verdict was out on whether Brown would last the rest of the season. Some people believed in him, others did not. As Sports Talk Philly.com's Tom Long wrote during that time, believing Brown should be on the hot seat going into the offseason.
Of course, that was before the Sixers made a deep season run to 52 wins, a 16-game win streak heading into the playoffs, and a first-round playoff series win as a 3-seed, dominating in five games.
It might be customary for a new regime to hire their own head coach, especially after years of losing, but considering what Brown means to this team, to this organization, and how people respect him as not only a coach, but as a human being, it's almost impossible to believe that this guy isn't the right fit for this franchise.
There's a popular household saying that I grew up knowing, that "good things come to those who wait."
He may have waited four seasons too long, but this season has been about results. It's been about growth. But it's especially about the good things that are awaiting the Sixers in the future.
Josh Liddick is a contributor to 97.3 ESPN and Sixers managing editor at SportsTalkPhilly.com. Follow him on Twitter @JoshLiddickTalk.